Pennsylvania house of representatives makes slots changes

The state House of Representatives approved its own broad changes to Pennsylvania’s two-year-old slot-machine gambling law Tuesday night and rejected parts of a Senate proposal as the legislative session winds down.

The House version – sent to the Senate in a 161-30 vote – preserves some provisions supported by the Senate, which unanimously passed its version last September 27. But it also proposes some changes that Senate aides said they did not immediately know if the Senate would agree to.

Both chambers agreed on a provision that would exempt gambling halls from local ordinances banning indoor smoking and another that would delete language allowing public officials to directly own up to 1 percent of a gambling interest.

But the House also took its own direction on some issues, such as including a provision that would enable state gambling regulators to enforce local zoning laws and grant variances to those ordinances in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.